Week of 25-31 May
Today we visited Park Sanssouci and went inside of the castle there. It was really cool but I liked the Neues Palais better. We were there a couple weeks ago with the missionaries in Leest. Then in the evening we met with our ward mission leader and talked about the work. We talked about Oksana, who wants to be baptized and some of the new members in the branch. He also told us about many things that we can do with our iPads to work more effectively.
We taught Tong and it was really spiritual. She expressed the feeling of being lost and we were able to testify that by coming to know God, we know ourselves more clearly. Her daughter was there, and she was so funny. The first part of the lesson, she ran around with her eyes closed, then she spent the last bit drawing pictures. She had gorgeous brown eyes, I was super jealous.
We shared a lesson in district meeting about using time well. Then in personal study, I studied Elder Henry B Eyring’s talk from the Priesthood session of the April 2015 conference. I was touched by what he said about prayer and decided to study the section of the Teachings of President Joseph F Smith that he mentioned and it was just what I have been searching for. He speaks about prayer being an effort to be personally recognized by our Father in Heaven. That has helped me to change my prayers and to have the feeling of being closer to my Father.
Today we met with John. He is a new member from Cameroon. His testimony is so strong, and he always says that the gospel is the reason he is happy. That is saying a lot because his current circumstances are very difficult. There are so many things that would give him the “right” to be sad or angry, but he chooses to be happy. One of the greatest privileges in visiting him is to hear him pray. He speaks with such reverence and radiates a feeling of love for his God and savior, Jesus Christ.
We had an interesting time today. Our first appointment of the day fell out, but we rescheduled to meet with Oksana on Sunday afternoon. Later we met with some new members and it was a really good appointment. We talked a lot about the sacrament and what it means to them. It was really cool to hear them share their feelings about Christ. Sunny, who is about 12 years old and was baptized right before I came to Potsdam, shared how she felt at her baptism and we were able to help her to know that she can have that feeling every Sunday as she takes the sacrament. Rocio was next and we talked with her about patriarchal blessings, she is super solid. She wants to visit the temple coming this summer. To finish the night, we visited a single mother and her family and had family night together. The family consists of three boys and two girls. It was a really intense family night. We talked about the plan of happiness and most everyone in the family shared their testimony about one part of another. The coolest part was that Niko, the oldest boy, shared how he had received an answer that he ought to go on a mission, and we are starting mission prep with him and his brother. Not only that but they had invited two of their friends to come as well. Over all, it was a great day.
Today we met with Ina, who has been investigating for a very long time. She happened to bring one of her good friends, Uli, to the appointment. Uli is really cool! We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and he was very excited to read it. The rest of the lesson was kind of thrown off because Ina went to go prepare food, and we were left to explain the Book of Mormon to him. He told us that he really wants to read it because he feels that there are important things missing from the Bible, and that the Book of Mormon will make the path to God clear. I would say he has very real desire to learn more.
Things were pretty low key. We ate with an older couple from the Ukraine and they were so nice. He is really smart but he has trouble expressing himself in German. But they are really nice and wanted us to eat so much. Later we met with an Oksana who is on b date. She was really tired so it wasn’t the most productive lesson. But she is going to institute so she should be all right.
Elder Joseph Billings